So how do they do it and how do you protect yourself?
ATM Card Trapping
These thieving folks have a way of tampering with the ATM card reader such that your card gets stuck in the slot. It’s the simplest and most passive method of ATM fraud. Unfortunately, you will only notice your card is stuck once you have finished transacting. Once your card is stuck, your only option is to leave the ATM and go look for assistance. However, that’s when the fraudsters will walk in remove the card and withdraw money from your account, since they have seen your personal identification number (PIN) while you were entering it with a hidden camera.
How to keep off this: There have been reports of criminals installing tiny cameras above ATM machines to allow them to see clients’ PIN codes. Always be cautious when entering your PIN at the ATM or point-of-sale. Make sure that no-one is watching and try to shield the keypad with your body or your hand so no-one can see it.
Card skimming is the most used. Skimmers are electronic card readers that gather the encoded information on the magnetic strip of a debit or credit card. Once a card has been skimmed, the information is used to make a duplicate bank card and then all that the fraudsters need is your PIN. This enables the THIEVES to create a counterfeit ATM card to painlessly clear all your pennies, since they have your PIN as recorded on their hidden cameras…and you thought hidden camera’s are used for security only.
How to duck skimmers: Simply shield the ATM keypad. Allow yourself look crazy for some time by leaning over the keypad and completely shield it. Again if you sense a flimsy environment or spot queer gadgets in the ATM machine room, get the hell off there!
Thieves who use this method literally have the necks of a crane. The criminals look over your shoulder to watch tas you enter your PIN. Once your’re done, they will either steal your card forcefully, or follow you up all alone the streets and lanes to pick pocket you. Since they already have your PIN thanks to their long necks, your goose will be cooked and it will be served timely.
How to frustrate shoulder surfers: Insist that the person behind you in the ATM machine queue to be many meters behind. After that, go ahead and do your business while completely shielding the machines’ keypad. Again, consider using ATM machines that have a security guard around. You will be safe.
The success of this method rests entirely on direct human interaction. Fraudsters using this scheme will tamper with the ATM card reader so your card gets jammed. Someone will then approach you in an attempt to offer ‘assistance’. Typically, they will ask for your PIN while they ‘attempt’ the transaction for you, when in fact they are busy swopping your card with a similar looking one. They soon leave with your card and PIN, armed to punish you.
How to dodge card swappers: Simply be vigilant. If you feel unsafe, trust your instincts and cancel your transaction and opt to transact elsewhere. Again, thou shalt never accept help from strangers – rather approach a clearly identified employee or talk to the soldier (Security guard) manning the machine.